Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't try and sell your house if you live next door to me

About two years ago, the people who lived in the house next door to us, decided to retire and move to their other house, permanently, in North Carolina.  They were professors at OSU and had no children and their yard was always immaculate - a perfect match to live next door to my family.  NOT.  They were gone half of the year in the winter, so they did not have to endure our antics year round, so at least, that was a blessing.  For them, I mean.

One time I was yelling at the kids through our screen door outside cause I was watching my stories and they were being too loud and I was all like, "Be quiet!  I can't hear my story and Raven is finally gonna find out who his illegitimate sister is!"  It was his girlfriend, natch.

"Git offa that doghouse!  I SAID GIT OFF A THAT DOGHOUSE."  I think Mills was three.  She was on the roof of the doghouse watching our other neighbor sunbathe.  "Oh, forgit it!  Just come in and I'll put your show on.  I SAID GIT IN THIS HOUSE!"  I peek out the sliding screen doors and my neighbor has his head peeking over the fence and he goes, "Do you mean me?"  I was mortified.  Oh well, whattaya gonna do, right?  This is life.

Anyway, they decide to sell their house and my middle daughter, Mills, was in preschool and her best friend was a boy whose sister was best friends with my eldest daughter, Hallie.  They basically met by carpool and his mom and I orchestrated their friendship to conform to our needs, like you do, so we put them in classes together so it would be easier for US.  Don't act like you haven't done the same thing.  They are like clay in preschool.  You are in control and you are a fool if you don't exercise it.

I will not use "Jamie's" name because he is a minor.  OOPS.  But they are having an open house next door and there are about a dozen people going through it, at the time.  Mills and "Jamie" are having a play date and they are playing outside in the backyard by the hammock in the far left corner of the backyard, which is in full view of the neighbor's windows.

If you are unfamiliar with Arlington, the suburb where we live (Uruguay follower), the houses are jutted up next to each other, and you can see directly into the houses next to you through your windows.  At least in our part, anyway.  No sprawling lawns here, people.

You have all the privacy that brownstones in a big city have, without the anonymity that a big city offers.  The yards are all fenced in, which I think everyone appreciates, but then that just gives the illusion of privacy, even though no one really has any, because from the top floor of any house you can peer three backyards down and see what everyone is up to.

ANYWAY, "James", we'll call him that, at least, and Mills are in the back corner of the yard and I come out to the deck, to bring them their gourmet peanut butter and jelly and juice box lunch before school.  I do afternoon.  I am one of THOSE moms.  You know, the lazy ones.

Okay, here is what I find.  James' pants are down to his ankles, revealing his ultra cool Superman underoos (do they make those anymore) or whatever, and Mills is lifting up her skirt and beginning to pull down her leggings.  Yea.  I don't care how hot it is, my girls are always climbing and swinging and stuff and I am super conscious about them not revealing their underwear when they wear skirts. And now THIS!  You have got to be kidding me.

Needless to say, I FREAK OUT.  I say everything that any child psychologist would tell you NOT to say in that situation.  If you are a frequent reader, like my closest friends, you KNOW that I REACT and then intellectualize.  Not my finest trait, but whatever.

"What in the SAM HELL (Yes, I am channeling my father, again.  It happens in the weirdest of situations.) is going on here!

"James," immediately points to Mills and screams, "It was HER idea!" as he scrambles to pull his pants up.  Typical male.  

Oh, I said awful things.  Like, for example, "your privates are going to fall off" and "I am calling your mother RIGHT NOW to tell her what you are doing!"  Or how 'bout "you are both doing a DIRTY, DIRTY thing!"  That was my encore after I went back inside to try and compose myself.

It was BAD.  I mean, really bad, but like always, the worst part, and with me, there is ALWAYS a worst part (yet to come) is in the middle of my dysfunctional tirade, I look up at the house next door that they are hopelessly trying to sell that day and I spy at least three, yea, I counted them THREE, couples in separate windows of their house, watching the ENTIRE episode.  Humiliation at it's finest.

Of course, I calmed down and told James' mom later in the day, within earshot of Mills of course, so she could relive it all, in the preschool parking lot.  We HOWLED with laughter.  I am grateful, that she has a good sense of humor about the psychological damage I injected in her child, in his formative years.

Well, they DID sell their house, despite my sabotaging techniques, to a lovely couple who I adore.  I have told them this story, though, and they were not there that day of the Open House.  It's probably best that way.  It's best to just surprise them about what degenerates they have moved next door to. 

My recommendation to you, today, is to GET LOST if your neighbors are having an Open House and have definitive plans for their future.  Oh, and I guess my second recommendation to you is not to lose your cool when your far to young to know what is going on, children, decide to do some healthy experimenting in your backyard.  Oh, and finally, if you can help it, get surround sound on your back deck or patio area, to drown out your constant ranting and raving at your children, when you are trying to enjoy your stories.  Hope this helps.  I have always tried to lead by example here.  Only, you don't follow my example, you do the opposite.

Oh, by the way, I've instituted "Playdate Wednesdays" this Spring, where each of my three kids have someone over after school. I am nothing, if not, efficient.  PLEASE do not get into altercations as you wait in line for your lottery number.  I am just trying to keep this Neighborhood CLEAN, know what I'm sayin"?

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